British scientists have discovered a "rogue gene" which helps cancer spread around the body and say blocking it with the right kind of drugs could stop many types of the disease in their tracks.If there's anything more perfectly sickening and terrifying than how bits of our own bodies can attack us—and travel around to attack us again and again—I don't know what it is. Nor do I want to know.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia said their findings could lead within a decade to the development of new medicines to halt a critical late stage of the disease known as metastasis, when cancer cells spread to other parts of the body.
The culprit gene, called WWP2, is an enzymic bonding agent found inside cancer cells, the researchers explained in their study, published in the journal Oncogene Monday.
It attacks and breaks down a naturally-occurring protein in the body which normally prevents cancer cells from spreading.
In tests in the laboratory, the UEA team found that by blocking WWP2, levels of the natural inhibitor protein were boosted and the cancer cells remained dormant.
Monday, January 24, 2011
The disease that we all know way too well may have just gotten a small kick in the teeth: